With Kansas at Number One, Who Is Number Two?

Jeff GhiringhelliContributor IJanuary 31, 2010

LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 22:  Marcus Morris #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks body bumps Chase Buford #41 after scoring during the game against the California Golden Bears on December 22, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It seems that the Kansas Jayhawks should never have left their position as number one in the country. They held on to their preseason ranking at the top until a road loss at Tennessee in January, but tomorrow they will get it back.

Texas had a brief stay at number one, but they have since lost three out of four and are about to fall out of the top 10. Kentucky then took over, but a day later lost on the road at South Carolina.


In other words, no team has been more comfortable at number one this season than Kansas. The Jayhawks are the best team in the country and they proved it yesterday by getting a huge road win against Kansas State.


The question now is, who is number two? There are three realistic possibilities, and they all have strong cases to be placed right below the Jayhawks when the new polls come out.






The Orange just keep rolling. They survived a scare yesterday against Big East bottom-feeder DePaul, but a win is a win, especially on the road. They have looked fantastic most of the year behind future lottery pick Wesley Johnson.


The Orange have also recovered from losing their backcourt last season with great play by freshmen Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine. Everything is clicking right now for Jim Boeheim's group, and they appear to be on a fast track to the Final Four.


They are undefeated on the road this season, beating the likes of West Virginia and Notre Dame, so they have proven they can get wins in tough environments. Don't expect many more losses from the Orange this season.






The Wildcats have been in the top five all season, and have been very steady. After surviving a couple of early scares against George Mason and Dayton in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Villanova really got it going and are the only undefeated team left in the Big East.


Scottie Reynolds has been playing outstanding basketball this year, averaging 19 points, three rebounds, and three assists per game. You can count on the ball being in his hands in crunch time, and he has delivered several huge shots in his career.


They have a treacherous schedule in front of them, as their next four road games are at Georgetown, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse. A lot more will be learned about Villanova after that stretch.






The Wildcats lost their first game this past week against South Carolina, so it would seem unlikely that they will only go down one spot to number two. However, they just dismantled one of the hottest teams in the country in Vanderbilt, and proved that they should not dip very far.


They still only have one loss, and to see a very young team respond to a loss like they did yesterday was impressive. Future number one draft pick and freshman John Wall has been outstanding all year, averaging 17 points and seven assists per game.


Fellow freshman DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson are beasts down low, combining to average 31 points and 18 rebounds per game. This team is not going anywhere, and will be a lot to deal with come tournament time.